Sodium Dichloroacetate, or NaDCA (abbreviated as DCA or Dichloroacetate) is a simple molecule. It has neither odor nor color. It is non-toxic and cheap to produce.
Representatives from the University of Alberta (UA) claim that it is possible to use DCA as a cure for various forms of cancer. One of the professors from the abovementioned University proved that DCA helps with regression of lung and breast cancers, as well as brain tumors (among others). The results of the study may be viewed in the research journal Cancer Cell published by the researchers from UA (including a cardiologist, Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, and Dr. Sebastien Bonnet).
It should be noted that DCA had been used before by men of science and medicine. It was successfully used in treatment of inborn defects connected with metabolism. These diseases were reported to have a connection with mitochondria. It should be noted that for nearly 80 years researchers have known that cancer has a negative influence on mitochondria, causing them to function abnormally. For most of this time, however, the most popular claim was that it was not possible for the mitochondria to function normally after they have been affected by cancer.
Dr. Michelakis attempted to undermine this thesis and stated that DCA may restore the destroyed mitochondria to their former state. He hoped that during the tests DCA could make the mitochondria produce an enzyme, which would help in their restoration. The results of the tests surpassed his expectations. Dichloroacetate (DCA) not only prevented the mitochondria from being devastated, but also decreased the tumor growth in test tubes and animal models. Unlike a great number of chemotherapies used nowadays, DCA did not affect healthy tissues.
According to Michelakis, this may happen because DCA targets a process, which may only be observed in cancer cells. He stressed the fact that Dichloroacetate may be used as a treatment for several forms of cancer.
Because DCA is a small molecule, it is easier for the body to absorb it. Therefore, it may be used to treat forms of cancer such as brain cancers, which are unreachable by commonly used drugs.
It is important to note that DCA has already been tested years ago on both healthy and sick patients. DCA was marked as relatively non-toxic and therefore action may be taken to test it on people with cancer.
It is a fact that dichloroacetate (DCA) cannot be patented, being a small molecule. If it is released as a drug, it would be cheaper than if it would be patented by a pharmaceutical company. However, for the same reason it is difficult for Dr. Michelakis to find sponsors for clinical trials for DCA. He is currently supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Canada Foundation of Innovation, the Canada Research Chairs program, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and other private sources. The clinical trials on humans have already started, however it may not be possible for Dr. Michelakis to finish them yet, because additional funding is needed.
At the beginning of 2007, doctors from the University of Alberta (UA) led by Dr. Michelakis described their research in Cancer Cell, a scientific journal. They used a small molecule, dichloroacetate (DCA) on cancer cells in rats and discovered that due to restoration of damaged mitochondria, the tumors became smaller by 70% in three weeks.
It is important to note that DCA is not a drug. It is a molecule and as such cannot be formally prescribed by a doctor or patented as a drug.